The Ficus craterostoma is a fig tree that is found in the rain forests of Southeast Asia. It is a relatively small tree, reaching heights of only 20-30 feet. The leaves are dark green and leathery, and the fruit is small and round. This fig tree has many medicinal uses, and it is also edible. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the Ficus craterostoma, including general information, range, habitat, cultivation details, edible uses, and care instructions.
Origins: Ficus craterostoma is native to the tropics of Southeast Asia (Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia).
Soils: It is not too picky about soils, as long as they are well-drained.
Fertilizers: It benefits from a light application of fertilizer during the growing season.
Water Needs: This species has moderate water needs; it should be watered regularly, especially during hot weather or when placed in a pot.
Size at Maturity: Ficus craterostoma can reach a height and spread of 30-40 feet.
Growth Rate: This species has a moderate growth rate.
Foliage: The glossy ovate leaves are arranged alternately on the stem. Each leaf is entire with a sharply pointed tip and measures up to 4.7 inches in length by 3 inches in width. Young leaves are copper-colored while mature leaves are dark green. There is also a variegated form with cream-colored margins.
Flowers: The unisexual flowers grow in small clusters (strobila) on the leaf axils.
Fruit: The small round fruit (drupes) ripen to yellow or red and measure about 0.25 inches in diameter.
Cultivation: Ficus craterostoma is best suited for USDA hardiness zones 11-12. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soils. This tree is relatively drought tolerant once established. Propagation is typically done by seed or air layering.
Uses: The wood of Ficus craterostoma is used for making furniture, canoes, and other objects. Latex has various industrial uses such as in adhesives and paints. The fruit is edible and sometimes used in jams or preserves.